Prince Wasim said time spent in prison for driving offences forced him to spend time alone and reassess his life.
After reading up on entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Lord Alan Sugar, Mr Wasim opened Milk Sheikh, serving waffles, crepes, deserts and many varieties of milkshake.
He told the Kilburn Times: “A lot of school children come in and I get into conversation with them. It’s a place for them to go. They see rappers and think all that sort of stuff is glamorous and cool.
“I tell them no, owning a business is cool.”
He added: “I’m a changed person. I got kicked out of school and went to a pupil referral unit but I’ve still made it, got a degree at uni.”